Illuminate and Civic Joy Fund Partner to Beam Lasers Across San Francisco during APEC Week as a Gift from the People of San Francisco

Major artwork will proceed despite late funding cut

San Francisco – Arts nonprofit Illuminate, in partnership with the Civic Joy Fund, will activate Market Street with a never-before-seen array of 12 giant laser beams from November 13 to 16, celebrating the vitality of San Francisco and signifying the unity of cooperating nations.

As world leaders from 21 countries–including U.S. President Joe Biden and Xi Jinping,

President of the People’s Republic of China–visit San Francisco, the monumental art installation called “Illuminate San Francisco” will emit a nightly canopy of light and joy above Market Street – the City’s civic spine. 

Emanating from Harry Bridges Plaza in front of the Ferry Building and beaming at a 3-degree angle over Market Street, just clearing the top of Twin Peaks, “Illuminate San Francisco” will create a city-wide activation. The installation will run from sunset to sunrise, starting Monday evening and concluding on Friday morning.

“We look forward to helping San Francisco shine when the eyes of the world are upon us,” said Ben Davis, Founder and Chief Visionary Officer of Illuminate, “especially with international media in town, sending images to the more than 3 billion people of the APEC nations.” 

“This is the spirit of San Francisco,” said Manny Yekutiel, who co-founded the Civic Joy Fund along with Daniel Lurie. “We are delighted to help Illuminate manifest this important vision.”

Due to increasing security costs, APEC planners were forced to cut funding for the planned laser installation. However, Illuminate decided to proceed independently and has launched a last-minute crowdfunding effort to cover the $150,000 cost of bringing this four-night spectacle to the City–and the world beyond. 

“This is one of the truly great cities in the world,” Davis said. “It’s time we reminded everyone that San Francisco is a city that knows how.”

Illuminate is a San Francisco-based arts nonprofit behind The Bay Lights project and many other large-scale public art installations across San Francisco, including The Golden Mile in Golden Gate Park. 

The Civic Joy Fund, also based in San Francisco, was launched earlier this year to restore vibrancy in the city and to stimulate economic recovery.